By Jessica Ravitz, CNN
(CNN) – A Utah woman unwittingly started a grassroots campaign when an e-mail she sent to her five children and a handful of friends urging a day of prayer and fasting for Mitt Romney started making the Mormon rounds.
Mona Williams, a Price, Utah, member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, wrote last Sunday evening to tell people closest to her how frustrated she is with the state of the country.
“A lot of my frustration is because I feel I don’t know what to do to really make a change. Well, this time I do,” she wrote. “I am asking you to join me and my family on Sunday Sept. 30 by fasting and praying for Mitt Romney. That he will be blessed in the debates,” the first of which is next Wednesday.
“I know that seems like such a small thing, but I believe ‘from small things, great things can come about,’” she continued. “I know that fasting and praying brings about miracles.”
The message that was intended for a group of about 10 people has since cropped up in Mormon inboxes around the country, including in Colorado, California and Nevada, BuzzFeed reported.
The attention that has followed has left Williams both floored and uncomfortable. When she was contacted by CNN affiliate KTVX on Wednesday, she said, “You could have pushed me over with a feather.”
“Can we just pretend this didn’t happen,” she asked with a laugh when CNN reached her Thursday night. She spoke to fears about those who dismiss people of faith, or take what she and others consider sacred and make it ugly.
“I’m simply a woman with faith,” she told CNN. “I am just a woman who believes that God loves this country and his hand is in whatever happens.”
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It's common for faithful Mormons to fast for a day each month while offering prayers for a particular purpose.
And for Williams, who works as an aide to special needs kids, it’s prayers – not money – that she has to give to her candidate of choice.
But she also sees that she has struck a chord with those who are like her.
“We’re very silent. We’re not very in your face. I’m not going to go stand up and march … And I’m not going to chew on someone’s backside,” Williams said. “But I can use my faith. It’s a very personal, passionate thing.”
The e-mail was not sanctioned or cleared by Mormon church officials. In fact, the church “is strictly politically neutral and does not endorse political candidates,” LDS Church spokesman Michael Purdy told CNN in a written statement.
Explain it to me: Mormonism | Video: Mormonism defined
The Student Review, a student-run paper at LDS Church-owned Brigham Young University posted Williams' message – or at least a version of her message that was forwarded - online, and the responses reveal a community rich with a variety of perspectives.
“I cannot tell you how scared I am for the future of our country,” wrote an unnamed student who is heading toward graduation. “What I do know is that Mitt Romney is a worthy priesthood-holding leader who has the potential to do a lot of good for our country. I know the Lord takes worthy men and makes them qualified for miraculous experiences.”
While another student answered that Romney’s name should be added to the “Temple Prayer List,” others fired back, calling such rhetoric “completely ridiculous” and “embarrassing.”
With or without Romney, D.C. a surprising Mormon stronghold
“You assume that if we fast then God will bless Mitt Romney to win,” wrote Ryan. “Who are you to say that it’s God’s will that Mitt Romney wins? I’ve been an active member my entire life and I can’t support Mitt Romney with a good conscience. Just because he is a member of our church does not mean all of his policies are correct or even moral.”
Added Jay: “The Lord DOES care about who leads our country, He just doesn’t care what party they are from. Only we look at party, whereas the Lord looks on the heart.”
It's precisely with her heart that Williams will fast and pray this Sunday, because that, she said, is what she can do.
"Whatever happens in this country," she says, "at least I've done my part."
My prayers are with the President, win that debate Mr. Obama, we are counting on you!
Prayer changes things
All children and other living things are born atheists. They only become theists after being indoctrinated.
Prove it, Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things. Prove that prayer changes things. Give us all ONE example that we can relate to that proves that prayer changes things. Do you have any idea how many people have prayed that you would finally return to Fox News? Hasn't come true yet....
I start to believe that most American specially White American are scared of being branded racist not to re elect a black president. And even the most Mormons are scared too because of their history of (1974 end of not advancing Black Mormons to the leadership?). so they (some if not most) make it public to re elect the President not because he cannot turn around to a better, the direction of the country but becuse he is a Black President.
I'm an independent and I approve this message.
As an active Mormon, I and a good number of my fellow ward members will be fasting and praying for the President. Mitt Romney, although a good and decent man, is not qualified to be the President of the United States, and LDS (Mormon) members who vote for him strictly because he is a member of our church should be ashamed of squandering their precious freedom to choose.
Another Mormon for Obama. I am a 9th generation LDS and a registered Republican. I'm convinced all the talk, from both sides, about fixing the economy is so much hot air. The economy is simply too big and complex to be micro-managed from the White House. I want a thoughtful leader w/concrete moral values, not someone who panders to the right wing of my party.
You are a wise man Mark. That is so good to hear.
I start to believe that most American specially White American are scared of being branded racist not to re elect a black president. And even the most Mormons are scared too because of their history of (1978 end of not advancing Black Mormons to the leadership?). so they (some if not most) make it public to re elect the President not because he cannot turn around to a better, the direction of the country but becuse he is a Black President.
I'm an independent and I approve this message.
So unless I vote for Obama, I'm a racist?
What's the background of the name "Willard" anyway? It seems to be a popular Mormon name. Mitt, J. W. Marriott etc.
I'm thinking if there was a god inclined to get involved in American presidential politics that She/He would more likely just make sure an obviously decent candidate was nominated in the first place.
Let's see. I think this was made to make Utahns sound like Baby Boo Boo or something. Price is somewhere down there in the state. I am certain that nearly all LDS in Price, along with LDS everywhere, know that politics is politics and religion is religion. The Mormon Church does NOT endorse candidates and do not advocate fasting for any candidate, Mormon or otherwise. I appreciate the caption under the photo of Romney stating that this lady's idea was not endorsed by the LDS church–I hope no one misses it. The action of this one woman is hardly an expression of Mormon ideas. I wish the nation would stop digging for quirky minutiae that in no way represents the practices or teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. My democratic neighbor here who likes Obama will be laughing his head off that the Eastern press considered the one individual's idea as newsworthy enough to slam Romney. Mormons don't do this sort of thing as a general rule, so this one incident is something someone in southern, remote Utah dreamed up. NOT newsworthy.
My screen did not display the later part of the article at the time I first posted. I take back anything negative about this woman. She is within her rights. But she herself indicates she would just like to forget it. My part about neutrality of the Mormon church still stands, but i can see this woman was made fun of for something she is not intending to convey.
They should fast until November 6... that way there will be no more mormons.
Mormons, who needs em? Not to mention the blacks and the jews!
Jose the Gardener.
As my previous post made clear. the Mormon church does not endorse candidates and this lady's action is singular to her alone. Now if someone had advocated praying for any given NFL game, that might be different. Just kidding.
I will be praying and fasting for Obama's reelection. Over half of this country believe Obama is better than Romney for this country. Do these Mormon's believe that know better than everyone else? They are hypocrite's just like Ronmey; only concerned with themselves and no one else. You see, Mormons are not Christians, they are a Satanic cult.
All religion is a fraud. If you suffer from a brand of this delusion, it is no less crazy than any other. Vote for whichever dude makes you feel happy inside but do a solid to mankind and stop talking to imaginary people.
I'm sure there are people out there praying for Obama, and that there have been prayers and fasts for past candidates as well–Romney's mormonism doesn't necessarily have anything to do with the fact that a woman is scared about the direction on the country and doesn't think Obama has it right. It's easy to point fingers and claim causation, but such assumptions and mud slinging as we see in these comments are why we have a problem in this country.
they fast so romney can play fast and loose with us.
Prayer changes things-
Kisses and hugs! I love you! MMmmmmmmm....
I'm sorry, "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things", but your assertions regarding atheism and prayer are unfounded. The degree to which your assertions may represent truths is 0.0. To help you understand the degree to which your assertions may represent truths, I will access my Idiomatic Expression Equivalency module (IEE). Using my IEE module, the expression that best matches the degree to which your assertions may represent truths is: "TOTAL FAIL".
I see that you repeat these unfounded statements with high frequency. Perhaps the following book might help you overcome this problem:
I'm Told I Have Dementia: What You Can Do... Who You Can Turn to...
by the Alzheimer's Disease Society
I'm really mistaken about everything I've written before on this chat board. Right now I work for the Mormon church to spread anything good, along with prayer, to move Romney forward and make him our glorious leader so that we can combine the Mormon church with the American Government, the way Joseph Smith said it should be. Look it up. Joseph Smith believed that America should be a Theocracy, just like Romney, just like all Mormons believe. Fact.
Amen about time to return America to the nation it was always meant to be. Given the opportunity all the founding fathers would have been Mormons.
for the good of mankind, end all religion except Mormonism.
Yes please pray, do not waste anytime on anything else. After all prayer works. Right?
Please do nothing but pray.
A good man prays a great man acts on prayer
a delusional person talks to imaginary people
So it's the mormons versus the democrats? What do all the fundies have to say about this? They must be cringing at the thought!
"We’re very silent. We’re not very in your face"
I'll try and remember that the next time one of your missionaries shows up at my door uninvited trying to tell me what I am doing wrong..... Because at the age of 19 they have sooo much experience to give....At age 19 they are so malleable as to believe just about anything you tell them. At age 19 they have never had a unique thought in that warped, controlled and underdeveloped brain of theirs "Higher brain functions do no develop until age 25 or later". I will do my best to remember they are not actually in my face...yea, good luck!
and so far you've never had a unique thought either. your point is?
Bain Capital would have paid the corporate tax rate of about 35% on it’s (Romney’s) profits. Most countries have a corporate tax rate of somewhere between 15% to 20%. The high tax rate in the United States is what drives businesses overseas where the tax rates are more favorable. Then Romney pays again on his capital gains. This is like you paying 35% while you are working and then and having to pay an additional 15% after you retire. People from the left seem unaware or conveniently leave out the fact that Romney has paid twice. History shows repeatedly that these taxes are what reduce re-investment, expansion, and the hiring of new people and are what forces jobs overseas where tax rates are lower.
Romney saved American jobs by keeping companies afloat that would otherwise have gone out of business. Many jobs were saved.
with Bain Capital's investment, some companies (and jobs) were 'saved', and some companies were driven into the ground and all jobs were lost.
Most of the companies that Bain invested in probably didn't need their kind of help – particularly the leveraged buy outs.
I don't think anyone can accurately and categorically state that that Bain Capital saved more jobs than they destroyed, or vice versa for that matter. What is true, is that most of the time (whether the company Bain invested in did poorly or well) Bain Capital made money on the deal.
They made money off turning companies around AND driving them into the ground. They didn't do it to save jobs. They did it to make money and to hell with the employees.
Overall, Americans give between 2 and 3 percent of their income to charity, according to the Philanthropy Roundtable.
Obama contributed LESS THAN ONE PERCENT to charity during his best years of income. Mitt contributed 19% as shown in his 2010 tax return. In 2011 he gave more than 12% which does not include $1.4 million in cash and stock to their family foundation, which, in turn, donates heavily to charity.
Contrast Romney's story with the one of President Obama's brother, George. George asked Obama for $1000 for his son's operation. President Obama on many occasions has stated "we are our brothers' keepers". Obama never answered the call to help his own (half) brother. George Obama got the money for the operation from a conservative writer.
Actions speak louder than words.
Romney served as Bishop and Stake President for 13 years with no pay. Those positions require many hours of service each week.
When Romney turned 65 on March 12, 2012 he voluntarily turned down enrolling in Medicare even though he could do so.
Upon turning 65 he also chose to NOT receive any Social Security payments because, again, he knows he can take care of himself and therefore should not rely on our tax dollars to help fund his daily living.
He turned a loss into one of the few profit-earning Olympics (Salt Lake) in 2002. He refused to receive any pay for this.
Romney refused to take any pay as Governor of Massachusetts. He served for free.
He turned Massachusetts' budget from red to black while governor by turning a three Billion dollar deficit into a 2.16 billion dollar surplus.
At the same time that he turned a three Billion dollar deficit into a 2.16 billion dollar surplus he also cut taxes 19 times.
Romney stated that he would give ALL his Presidential salary ($1.6 million total) back to the American taxpayers if elected (yes, he's on record as committing to this).
I've always believed it better to appeal to somone's self interest, rather than his altruism, because altruism is few and far between. (Heinlein said something about that).
I'd wonder at all this altruism. What does he get out of it?
So what. He is running for President, not who gives the most to charities. Romney is not fit to be president. If he wants a medal for giving to charities, he is applying for the wrong job.
What are you drinking? Kool-Aid from a vat?
If God decides everything, then what are you worrying about? Everything will be alright and Ann or Paul will be elected President! Oops, sorry, I forgot it is Mitt who's running....
You mean you actually believe all those Teabagger lies?
I feel sorry for you and your ilk.
Lets keep it real! Its not about the president know matter how much good he have done or will do people SOME people dont want to see a half black man doing good in office with his all Black family lol. Dont think im a raciest I lov
This is so sad. People here are so intellectually lazy. They vote against their own interests, because of all the indoctrinations and propaganda. They've got you all carrying water for the wealthy insane oligarchs, who send your jobs over to China, and call the masses 'useless breeders or eaters.' Look up Kissenger for the last quote about 'useless breeders.
So when obama wins will that be god having a hand in things?
Maybe through this fasting and praying campaign this guy will get a BRAIN and some COMPASSION for the poor useless 47% of Americans. I used to be Mormon for 7 years. Most Mormon women border on the line of depression. They are locked into a religion that is TOTALLY controlled by men, no exception. Everything that is wrong or right in the Mormon church is BACKED by devine revelation from the "prophet" that is currently in charge of the church. This church is controlled by old white men and I mean old! Half of them have one foot in a grave and the other on a banana peel. The church has left over racism against black people that the church has been trying to move away from since the 70's but it still remains in the hearts of many. KEEP PRAYING AND FASTING, YOU NEED IT.
What a bunch of hypocrites! Mormons do not believe in any form of gambling (sweepstakes, lottery etc) and they KNOW that Romney's biggest supporter is Shel Adelstein who OWNS the largest casinos in Vegas and China. THAT is where Romney's money is coming from. Adelstein vowed to give $10 million to defeat Obama. So come on Mormons, you are supporting a man who is a hypocrite, who does not follow the teachings of your church. Who takes his money from a business you SAY you abhor. Kind of talking out of both sides of your mouths, aren't you? If (not likely) Romney would win, don't you think he'll do what Adelstein says, since he would have taken so many millions from him? Get real. What a bunch of idiots you all are.
The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.